Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tylenol Packaging

This afternoon, I opened a new package of Tylenol.  After opening the glued ends of the box, I unwrapped the clear shrink-wrap around the neck of the bottle and the lid.  Then I opened the cap of the bottle and removed the seal over the opening.  Three layers of tamper resistance.........

It made me think about the reason for all those barriers between me and the pain reliever inside.

If you are younger than, say 35 years of age, you've probably never seen any kind of medication or even food items without at least one of those tamper-proof lines of defense.  Ketchup and mustard have the clear wrap to keep you from opening the bottle in the store, and then when you get it home and take that off, you still have to unscrew the cap to remove the seal under the cap.

It hasn't always been that way.

In 1982, the way we think about the products we ingest changed forever.

The Tylenol Tampering Murders is a link to a lengthy accounting of the events surrounding the Tylenol case, complete with the stories of the victims, police investigation, and Johnson & Johnson reaction.

I remember the way the Johnson and Johnson Company handled it. Not the details, of course, but the big picture.  They didn't wait to see what they would be required to do.  They did the right thing.   They recalled EVERYTHING and stopped production to see what could have happened on their end.  That had never been done before.  If you haven't looked at the above link yet, you can read a brief synopsis of the company's actions here.   The fact that you can still buy Tylenol (and trust its safety) almost 30 years later is a testament to the decisions made in a horrifying time of crisis.  Their response was based on the company's credo, written in 1943, way before mission statements became popular.  Here's the first sentence:
We believe our first responsibility is to the doctors, nurses and patients, to mothers and fathers and all others who use our products and services.
Isn't this the way we would want to be remembered in a crisis?  Not that we obeyed the letter of law, but that we responded in a way that was the most beneficial to those who were at risk.  That our first responsibility is to those that trust us.

There is a lesson here.  Let's not forget it.

Friday, August 27, 2010

After School Snack

It's 9:00 a.m. and I'm starting an after school snack for the girls.

They are both bringing home a friend from school today.  Em and her friend are both in the band, so they have to be at school shortly after 5 to load the bus and trailer and do whatever it is that bands do to get ready.  (It's a trade secret:  you have to be in the band to know that kind of stuff!)  El and her friend are in the Middle School band, but tonight are just spectators for the High School game.  Both friends are coming with us specifically for the youth group bowling after the game.  (I love church activities that attract friends!)

But since we will be leaving the house before a chance for supper, there will be a substantial snack consumed beforehand.  Band kids typically get the 3rd quarter off, but when the game doesn't start until 7:30, 3rd quarter can be WA-A-AY past a normal supper-time.

So here we are at the after school snack preparation.  (You thought I forgot where I was going, didn't you!)

 Home-made bread!

After a long hiatus, last week I made my first attempt in quite some time.  It was acceptable.  That's about all I can say.
However ........... I assessed the results and made a few changes:  less flour, different rising schedule, more my intuition and less specifically following directions.

I've made notes in my cookbook, too.  Makes me feel rather like the "Half-Blood Prince."  For those of you unfamiliar with the world of Harry Potter, here's a VERY BRIEF explanation from wikipedia:
Harry discovers that the previous owner of his Potions textbook, the "Half-Blood Prince", has annotated the book with refinements that allow Harry to excel in class.
 We'll see how much excelling is going on in an hour or so...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Sound of Summer

There is a sound that I associate with growing up in Mississippi.

It's the throbbing buzz of unseen cicadas.

I have loved this sound for as long as I can remember.

I walked out to put mail in the box this morning at church.  Standing at the mailbox looking across the road, the view is what you see above.

Resonating from the shade of these trees is a chorus of cicadas.  I really didn't want to come back inside

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Morning Wind-Up

Every morning, I turn left out of our lane.  Just up the hill is a driveway.  Lounging in this driveway and spilling out into the road are 3 dogs.  Two of these dogs appear to be siblings.   Apart from their coloring (one has darker fur on its back and sides than the other) they look remarkably alike.  They also look remarkably like Luci.  Luci was given to our eldest daughter for her first birthday by a very old friend of Mr. H's.  From the time she was about 2 years old, Luci was a constant bedtime companion.  Luci went to camp several times, but a head lice outbreak forced Luci (and every other article brought by every single girl in attendance that week) to take a spin through a commercial washing machine.  Luci stayed safely home on the bed for subsequent camps.

Hmmmm....where was I?  Oh, yes.  Two of the dogs look like live versions of Luci.  The 3rd dog looks like a white shepherd.  It's the 3rd dog that performs a trick that amuses me.  This dog is usually in the road when it sees a car coming.  It takes a few steps back up the driveway, then it turns back to face the  road.  Here's the amusing part:  now that it is facing the road, it reverses several more steps up the driveway, then launches itself towards the road.  It reminds me of one of those little wind-up cars that you pull backwards to wind up, then let go to zoom across the floor.

This dog must not wind up enough, because it doesn't zoom very far.  Or maybe he zooms just far enough ... just to the end of the driveway.  I guess this is a smart wind-up dog.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thoughts While Mowing the Grass

I listen to my mp3 player while mowing the grass.

I usually put it on shuffle and just let come what may.  I discovered several things today:

~When an accompaniment track comes on (that I have put on there to practice while I'm in the car) I am really happy that no one can hear me over the noise of the lawnmower.  I wear ear protection over the ear buds because I want to preserve my hearing.  That also means that I can't hear what's coming out of my mouth so it's probably WA-AAY-YY off-key!
~There are some songs that I simply cannot listen to while on the lawn mower because the key they are in clashes mightily with the resonant tone produced by the mower itself.  Even with the ear protection on, I can hear that tone.  "The Butterfly" on the Celtic Odyssey CD is one of those songs.
~On the other hand, there are some songs that blend beautifully with the drone of the Deere:  "Answer My Prayer" on Acappella's Sweet Fellowship CD works.

I got a bit over half our grass cut today.  Now to re-charge the Zune's battery, so I'll be ready for tomorrow.

Friday, August 6, 2010


I find it odd that a copy of the classroom guidelines for a class at the middle school requires my signature.  I am not the one required to enter the room quietly, or sharpen my pencils and throw away my trash before the tardy bell.  I will not be turning in papers to the appropriate area (or any area).  I will probably never see the class activities posted on the front board.

Why does this list require the parent's signature?  Will the teacher complain to me if my child doesn't go quietly and immediately to her appropriate seat or if she talks with people in other work groups?  I would much rather the matter be discussed with my child, the student.  Are there really parents out there who do not expect their children to be polite and co-operative members of society in general?  Do they really have to have it spelled out for them how people are expected to act while in public?

My word!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

today's blessings

Someone called the church for help today.

Not the kind of help usually asked for, either.

This person didn't need financial help.

Not the kind of spiritual help usually sought here, either.

This person wanted literature help.

This individual wanted information on how church literature that would help his church grow.
Not so much to grow in numbers, but in knowledge of the Lord.  Something that helped them dig into the scriptures, that helped open up God's Word.

This person impressed me.  This person "gets" what Sunday School is designed to accomplish.  It's a discipleship thing.  It's to deepen a  person's relationship with the Lord.  This person loves his    church:  not the building, but the people.  And not just the people who think the way he thinks:  all the people of every age and mind-set.  He doesn't want to do anything that will hurt their fellowship, but he longs for them to all grow in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

I pray his church understands how blessed they are to have this gentleman in the congregation.

Oh, I almost forgot the other blessing of the day!!

My eldest daughter graciously agreed to take her younger sister to the high school this evening for band pictures.  That may not sound like much to you, but to me, today, it is HUGE.  I have had somewhere to go every night for the past 4 nights in a row.  When I heard that Em had to be back at school at 6:15 this evening, I almost cried.  But, once again, I have been rescued by my eldest.  Thank you, Dear.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My Smile for the Day

After Christmas this year I used some of the money I received to purchase a desk calendar.  I love Origami, so I got "An Origami a Day" calendar.  Each day's sheet has  instructions to fold something on one side and a color (sometimes solid, sometimes a print) on the other.  As you remove yesterday's page to reveal today, you fold today's project using the pretty side of yesterday's page.

Today's project is a frog.  The back side of yesterday's instructions is an alligator skin sort of print.

Look at the note to the side of the finished project  on the instructions below.  My day started off with a chuckle!

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Very Full Day

Some days are just like this:  Monday's especially.  And today was more Monday than most!

Monday's are by far my busiest day at work.  It's payday and sort the offering day and staff meeting day. It's usually my grocery shopping day, too.  Tonight we previewed the Christmas musical that our choir will be doing this year:  God Coming Down.  (highly recommend!!)  Then Mr. H and I did the grocery shopping together.  We used to do that all the time, but eventually, his work schedule got in the way and I went by myself after bringing the girls home from school.

After putting all the groceries away, I decided to just sit for a bit and work on a new knitting stitch.  I had been playing around with something called seed stitch, which is knit 1, purl 1 repeated for an even number of stitches, then purl the knit stitches and knit the purl stitches on the next row.  It takes a certain amount of concentration to keep up with where you are.  My motion seems very erratic since I'm trying a new way of holding the yarn (which should speed things up once I master it.)

There is a website I use for reference when I'm stumped.  It has text, photos, and video, all of which are helpful.  I know that there are 2 general methods of knitting:  German and English.  One holds the working yarn in the left hand and the other, in the right hand.  Then I stumbled upon the Norwegian purling method (scroll down to the nest to last example on the linked page above).  From the text description, it sounded a bit easier.  Then I looked at the video.  It took me 5 times watching the video to figure out what she was doing, then 5 more times trying to follow along before I got the first Norwegian purl stitch completed!  Talk about convoluted!!!  I tried 3 or 4 more  and they were so sloppy and stretched that they were hard to recognize.  I'm guessing I have no Norwegian roots in my family tree!

Well, now I guess I've wound down enough from the day to actually go to sleep.  If the knitting itself doesn't do it, writing about knitting certainly does.  Good night.